Meet Birmingham – the region’s business tourism programme – is joining forces with more venues than ever to showcase the breadth of the West Midlands’ increasingly popular conferencing sector at the industry’s flagship UK exhibition, The Meetings Show (Olympia London, 13-15 June).
Nine partners, representing a range of venue types from across the region, will unite to profile the West Midlands’ connectivity, lifestyle and business offering to more than 3,000 meetings professionals – many of whom will be looking to place business with new suppliers at the exhibition. Partners include The Belfry; Chateau Impney; Edgbaston Stadium; the International Convention Centre (ICC); the National Exhibition Centre (NEC); Resorts World Birmingham; St. George’s Park; thestudio; and the Vox Conference Centre. Collectively, the venues offer more than 180 meeting rooms and 800 bedrooms.
The Meetings Show brings together major domestic and international destinations, venues, hotel groups, trade associations and suppliers. It is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education. Meet Birmingham and its partners will exhibit on stand H210.
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Meet Birmingham, said: “We’ve assembled our biggest number of partners for The Meetings Show this year, highlighting to industry professionals that we’ve got the variety and size of venue required to provide the best backdrop for every event.
“The West Midlands’ reputation as a global meetings destination continues to grow, with recent high-profile events in the region including the Conservative Party Conference and the Qatar Trade & Investment Summit. In the last month, we’ve attended overseas tourism exhibitions in Germany, Sweden and Thailand and found an increasing number of delegates coming to talk to us about the region’s new developments, food & drink offer and corporate hospitality experiences.
“We look forward to continuing to spread the word about the West Midlands to delegates at one of the business tourism sector’s most important exhibitions.”
Ian Taylor, Venue Sales Director, NEC Group Conventions & Exhibitions, added: "We’re looking forward to attending The Meetings Show, it’s a great opportunity to showcase the breadth and depth of The NEC Group’s venues to an international audience.
“With the NEC, ICC and Vox partnering with Meet Birmingham and a diverse range of venues from across the region, we will be able to show everything Birmingham – and the West Midlands – can offer event organisers and their delegates.
“It’s an exciting time for Birmingham, the city has gone through a huge transformation over the last decade and is now well established as a leading events city. With even more infrastructure developments in the pipeline, from transport improvements to further additions to the city’s leisure offer, Birmingham’s reputation is set to grow even further in the next few years.”
In a boost to the city’s business tourism credentials, Birmingham this month maintained its status as the top UK regional destination for conferences and events according to global meetings specialist Cvent. Birmingham moved up three places to 19th in the annual Cvent ranking of more than 2,650 cities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. London again topped the list in 2017, followed by Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. The index is compiled using qualifying criteria including how often a destination is searched for by Cvent clients and the total number of room nights generated by events.
Birmingham has also jumped more than 100 places to 152nd in the 2016 International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) city rankings, released this month. The worldwide rankings represent one of the industry’s most important benchmarks. They are based on the number of meetings held by membership-led organisations taking place on a regular basis with at least 50 delegates and rotating between a minimum of three countries. Birmingham saw its number of qualifying events for the rankings nearly double in 2016 (to 17).